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Notable Siblings in the UFC

On #NationalSiblingDay, we take a look at some of the notable families to have graced the Octagon.
Nate and Nick Diaz
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 14: Former UFC lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz gives autographs after holding an open workout for fans and media at Honda Center on August 14, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Zuffa LLC)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 14: Former UFC lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz gives autographs after holding an open workout for fans and media at Honda Center on August 14, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Zuffa LLC)

209, stand up. Stockton’s favorite sons have competed in the UFC for the last two decades and have a good claim at the most iconic siblings to grace the Octagon. It started with Nick in 2003, who flattened Robbie Lawler in his second foray into the Octagon. A rough patch saw him leave the promotion in 2006, but a year later, Nick came through The Ultimate Fighter circuit, capturing the lightweight tournament title. He immediately became a fan-favorite, earning six Performance Bonuses in his first eight fights. To Nate’s credit, he earned the Strikeforce welterweight title in 2010, defending it three times before coming back to the UFC and challenging for the 170-pound crown. And although Nate's title bid against Benson Henderson fell short, his brightest moment came at welterweight when he stepped in to face Conor McGregor, submitting him and handing the Irishman his first UFC loss. The rematch turned into one of the biggest fights in the company’s history and broke the pay-per-view record at the time. It was a 3-year wait until his next bout, but his reentry against Anthony Pettis was well worth the wait, as was his subsequent bout against Jorege Masvidal for the “BMF Belt.”

Rodrigo and Rogerio Nogueira
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: (R-L) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is congratulated by his brother Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira after he defeated Sam Alvey during the UFC Fight Night event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL: (R-L) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is congratulated by his brother Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira after he defeated Sam Alvey during the UFC Fight Night event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

The twins alternatively known as Big Nog and Lil Nog have rumbled through the Octagon for more than a decade, starting with Rodrigo in 2007. A prolific submission artist, he earned the interim heavyweight title over Tim Sylvia via a guillotine choke in 2008. The next year, after a loss to Frank Mir, Rodrigo took on Randy Couture in one of 2009’s best fights and walked away with the unanimous decision. Meanwhile, Rogerio gained traction in the light heavyweight division with wins over the likes of Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans. Although Rodrigo last competed in 2015, Rogerio is still fighting and recently scored a TKO win over Sam Alvey.

Antonina and Valentina Shevchenko
SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 17: (L-R) Antonina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan performs an open workout with her sister Valentina Shevchenko during the UFC Fight Night Open Workouts event on April 17, 2019 in Russia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - APRIL 17: (L-R) Antonina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan performs an open workout with her sister Valentina Shevchenko during the UFC Fight Night Open Workouts event on April 17, 2019 in Russia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

UFC’s first pair of sisters became reality when Antonina earned her contract on Dana White’s Contender Series in the summer of 2018. She earned a unanimous decision in her debut, and just a week later, Valentina beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk to capture the flyweight crown. Since then, Antonina is a respectable 2-1 in the Octagon and is coming off a Fight of the Night win over Lucie Pudilova, and Valentina has developed into one of the most dominant champions on the roster. After three rather adversity-free title defenses, “Bullet” is often talked about as the most complete mixed martial artist on the roster, and seeing as her only two UFC losses came to near-consensus GOAT Amanda Nunes, it’s not an otherworldy statement either. Her last fight against Nunes was a razor-close decision, too, so a trilogy fight would be a gift to fight fans. Regardless, the Shevchenko sisters are a heavy presence in the flyweight division and in each other’s corners as well, and ultimately, their status as the first sisters in the UFC solidifies them in history.

Frank and Ken Shamrock
UFC 48 Event Shamrock vs. Kimo

You can’t talk about the earliest days of the UFC without the Shamrock name coming up rather quickly. Ken Shamrock competed in all but two of the first nine UFC events, winning the UFC Superfight Championship at UFC 5. His adopted brother Frank was early in the blending of multiple disciplines and snatched the first light heavyweight title in 1997, which he successfully defended four times including a Fight of the Year in 1999 against Tito Ortiz. The Shamrocks influenced the sport heavily in their own ways, and the sport grew from there in part because of that impact.

Anthony and Sergio Pettis
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Sergio Pettis and brother Anthony Pettis walk out of the Octagon during the UFC 167 event inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 16, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 16: (L-R) Sergio Pettis and brother Anthony Pettis walk out of the Octagon during the UFC 167 event inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 16, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

It’s nearly impossible to watch any sort of compilation of the best mixed martial arts moves ever without seeing Anthony Pettis’ “Showtime kick” from his WEC bout against Benson Henderson. When Pettis went “off the fence like a ninja,” he became a sensation, and when he entered the UFC, it wasn’t long before he became the lightweight champion. A couple months after that, his younger brother Sergio made his UFC debut as a bantamweight. When Sergio moved down to flyweight, he found himself beating some of the best 125-pounders in the organization, including a win over Joseph Benavidez. While he wasn’t able to earn a shot at the title, Sergio definitely made his mark. Anthony continues to compete with the best in the lightweight and welterweight divisions. Although his UFC record might include its bumps, you can’t say he has taken a single easy fight, and along the way, he has continued to flash the creative brilliance that only “Showtime” brings.

Dominick and Alex Reyes
25 - Dominick Reyes late workout during UFC 247 Fight Week
February 4, 2020

While he was well-known in most MMA circles, Dominick Reyes put his name in neon lights in his title fight against Jon Jones. As close as anyone has come to dethroning Jones, Reyes showed that he is the real deal and should be for many more years to come. His older brother, Alex made his UFC debut on short notice and up a weightclass to fight Mike Perry. Since then, though, he hasn’t competed due to battling a spinal infection, but he still intends to return to the Octagon eventually. As a 13-3 professional, Alex holds several first-round finishes on his record, so the quick finishing instinct clearly runs in the family as Dominick holds nine first-round wins himself.

Jim and Dan Miller
VANCOUVER, BC - AUGUST 27: (R-L) Jim Miller of the United States punches Joe Lauzon of the United States in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Rogers Arena on August 27, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
VANCOUVER, BC - AUGUST 27: (R-L) Jim Miller of the United States punches Joe Lauzon of the United States in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Rogers Arena on August 27, 2016 in Vancouver,Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

It was more than 11 years ago when Dan Miller made his UFC debut, followed shortly by yonger brother Jim. Dan earned wins in his first three trips to the Octagon before stumbling a bit against the likes of Michael Bisping and Chael Sonnen. Jim, however, was able to find more success, winning nine of his first 10 UFC fights. His longevity has him in the record books as well as his 34 total UFC fights have him tied with Donald Cerrone, and his 20 wins are tied for third all-time. Jim is also top-10 all-time in finishes (12), submissions (9) and total bonuses (11).

Gilbert and Herbert Burns
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 25: (L-R) Herbert Burns of Brazil and Gilbert Burns stand backstage during the UFC Fight Night event at PNC Arena on January 25, 2020 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 25: (L-R) Herbert Burns of Brazil and Gilbert Burns stand backstage during the UFC Fight Night event at PNC Arena on January 25, 2020 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

Gilbert Burns has made his way in the UFC for the better part of the last half-decade now, racking up finishes in all but four of his bouts in the Octagon and is recently coming off the biggest win of his career – a first-round TKO over Demian Maia – extending his winning streak to five. His younger brother, Herbert, made his UFC debut in January 2020 after earning a contract on the most recent season of Dana White’s Contender Series. Primarily a submission artist, Herbert scored an early entrant for one of the best knockouts of the year when he caught fellow debutant Nate Landwehr with a flush knee to the chin. It was quite the way to introduce himself to the Octagon, and considering Gilbert’s most recent win, life is good for the Burns brothers.

Chris Weidman and Stephen Thompson (by marriage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: (L-R) Chris Weidman and Stephen Thompson speak to the media during the UFC 205 post fight press conference at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: (L-R) Chris Weidman and Stephen Thompson speak to the media during the UFC 205 post fight press conference at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC)

Yes, we’re counting in-laws here. Chris Weidman’s sister is married to Stephen Thompson’s brother, so yes, the “All-American” and “Wonderboy” kind of, sort of related. Weidman, of course, is the former middleweight champion who, despite hitting a rough skid for his last few fights, is still a highly-touted and highly respected fighter who beat Kelvin Gastelum by submission in his last win. Thompson endured a rough stretch of his own after his back-to-back title challenges against Tyron Woodley, and his Fight of the Night win over Vicente Luque at UFC 244 put him right back into the top-5 at welterweight.

Tai Tuivasa and Tyson Pedro (by marriage)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 10: (L-R) Tyson Pedro and Tai Tuivasa pose for a photo during the UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena on February 10, 2019 in the Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 10: (L-R) Tyson Pedro and Tai Tuivasa pose for a photo during the UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena on February 10, 2019 in the Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Another in-law situation, Tai Tuivasa married Tyson Pedro’s sister, and so we get two of the most outgoing personalities sort of related to each other. Tuivasa and Pedro hold 3-3 records on the roster so far with plenty of time to develop into their prime as they are 27 and 28 years old, respectively. Tuivasa is a fun entrant into the heavyweight division if he can get back on track (doing shoeys along the way, of course), and as he has shown against the likes of Andrei Arlovski, he has the goods to do so. Pedro is looking to bounce back himself after suffering losses to Mauricio Rua and Ovince St. Preux.